Asus isn’t the biggest PC maker around, but it nevertheless manages to offer a wide range of notebook PCs. Whether you’re looking for a gaming notebook, a budget machine, a productivity-focused 2-in-1, or in some cases a mashup laptop that checks off more than one box, chances are Asus will have something made just for you.
While Asus doesn’t offer many stratospherically expensive laptops as do Microsoft and Apple, it hits just about every other price point. You can spend well under $1,000 or more than $2,000 depending on which model you look at, and you’ll enjoy solid build quality, great performance, and a nod to style that likely won’t make you feel like you’re overdressed for any computing occasion.
With all of that said, here’s our list of the best Asus laptops.
Asus ZenBook UX330UA
The ZenBook UX330UA isn’t the most premium Asus laptop, but it’s the one most people should buy. It’s been our favorite budget notebook for a while now — and for good reason. Pull it out of your backpack to lay it down on a table in your favorite cafe, and you won’t feel too out of place in a sea of Apple MacBooks and Microsoft Surface devices. It’s priced for buyers with a limited budget, but it looks like they spent considerably more money.
Just looking at the specifications, it’s obvious that this isn’t the most powerful laptop you can buy. Its quad-core eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U is plenty fast but not at the top of the class, and the SATA solid-state drive (SSD) isn’t as fast as PCIe versions on more premium laptops. Nevertheless, it’s plenty quick enough for the usual productivity tasks that are important to students and the typical office worker, and that’s more than good enough for web browsing and watching Netflix video.
Of course, it’s also just $750, and that’s a great value no matter how you spin it. Toss in its solid all-metal build quality and distinctive Asus “spun-metal concentric circle” aesthetic, and you’ll feel comfortable carrying it around and won’t think you wasted your money on a cheap, plastic, boring-looking machine.
The display is good enough, the connectivity is a mix of old-school and modern, and it’s a rather comfortable weight and thickness. Really, you just can’t go wrong if you need a laptop but have under $1,000 to spend.
You can check out our full review here.
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Asus ZenBook 3 Deluxe
While our previous pick was rather conservatively styled, that doesn’t mean Asus is incapable of making a bold, unconventional laptop. The ZenBook 3 Deluxe is a prime example, being an upsized version of the company’s original ZenBook 3 that was just a little too small and under-equipped for our tastes.
The ZenBook 3 Deluxe model fixes a lot of what we didn’t like about the earlier version, and then some. To begin with, it’s a lovely laptop with its deep Royal Blue color scheme, spun-metal design, and gold-colored trim. It does a great job of straddling that line between elegance and ostentation — pull it out of your backpack and you’ll have onlookers marveling at its gorgeous aesthetic and not just rolling their eyes.
It’s also a solid all-metal build without any flexing, creaking, or cracking. That’s an achievement, because it’s also incredibly thin at 0.51 inches and light at 2.42 pounds. Really, it’s built to look and feel like a little jewel of a notebook.
And yet, it still packs in a 14-inch Full HD display that provides a great experience, with plenty of brightness and contrast. It’s plenty powerful as well, with a quad-core Intel eighth-generation Core i7-8550U and fast PCIe SSD that will let you churn through your productivity tasks. You’ll need dongles to connect to legacy devices, but Thunderbolt 3 support means your future connectivity needs will be well met.
Battery life will be a little limited thanks to the 46 watt-hour battery capacity, but it should still be enough to get through a good part of a working day. If you want a great looking laptop that won’t force you to compromise on performance, then the ZenBook 3 Deluxe is an excellent choice.
You can read our review here.
Asus ROG Zephyrus GX501VI
Asus has a strong gaming division known as the Republic of Gaming (ROG), which puts out a variety of peripherals and PCs aimed squarely at the hardcore gamer. If you’re in the market for a gaming laptop, then chances are you’ll be taking at look at one or more Asus ROG variants.
Today, that means giving strong consideration to the ROG Zephyrus GX501VI, an extremely thin gaming notebook that nevertheless packs in some of the most powerful mobile components around. It’s a marvel of industrical design and makes use of some of Nvidia’s most recent tech, specifically Max-Q that’s aimed at reducing GPU heat and power draw while still maximizing graphical performance. For the Zephyrus, that means equipping a GeForce GTX 1080 with Max-Q and using some tricky engineering — the laptop’s bottom plate actually opens up — to help create the airflow needed to keep the laptop from self-combusting.
Unsurprisingly, the Zephyrus is a performance beast no matter what you’re using it for. It blows away productivity tasks, of course, with its full-power mobile CPU blazing the way. And in terms of gaming, you’ll find few laptops this thin that can accomplish such high frame rates. We have to note that its benchmark and real-world gaming results aren’t the fastest we’ve seen from gaming notebooks, but that’s not the point of this machine. It’s intended to pack super power into a thin chassis, and it accomplishes that feat with aplomb.
For your $2,700 you’ll get a Full HD display that’s capable of 120Hz, has plenty of expansion ports, and is easy enough to carry around. What you won’t get is great battery life, as the 50 watt-hour capacity is just insufficient to keep all that power running for very long.
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Asus ZenBook 13
Today’s laptop market is chock full of excellent thin and light options, and the vast majority of them are great for your typical productivity tasks. But what if you want to do a little light gaming? With most laptops in this diminutive category, you’re stuck with integrated Intel graphics that are simply unfit for anything but older titles. That’s where the ZenBook 13 comes in: it manages to squeeze a discrete GPU into a very thin chassis for some lightweight gaming on the go.
Before you get too excited, note that it’s only the Nvidia GeForce MX150, a decidedly entry-level GPU. That won’t get you 60 frames per second (FPS) in modern titles at high graphic settings. What it will do, though, is let you game at 1080p in esports games and even tolerable FPS in some modern games if you’re willing to turn the details down low. The fact that you’re carrying that much gaming power around in a laptop that’s just half an inch thick and weighs only two pounds is actually rather remarkable.
And just in case you worry your boss might object, the ZenBook 13 also packs in a quad-core eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U that’s plenty fast for productivity tasks. The SATA SSD is slower than some premium offerings, but it won’t slow you down too much unless you’re accessing massive databases. And you’ll enjoy the decent display, serviceable connectivity, and competent keyboard and touchpad.
And did we mention that’s is a great looking laptop as well? It’s got a sharp glossy Royal Blue coating on the lid and an otherwise subtle yet elegant aesthetic. There’s a reason why we recommended the ZenBook 13, and you can read all about it in our review.
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Asus ZenBook Flip 14
If you’re inclined to pull out a pen, flip your display around into tablet mode, and do some inking on your laptop, then you’re clearly looking for a convertible 2-in-1. You’re in luck, because the Windows ecosystem is full of great options. The thing is, unless you want to go whole hog and grab a 15-inch monster, you’re likely to get stuck with integrated graphics and a poor gaming experience. Once again, though, Asus has you covered if that notion leaves you wanting.
The ZenBook Flip 14 plays basically the same role for thin and light 2-in-1s as the ZenBook 13 does for clamshells. It fits the same Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU into a chassis that’s very thin at 0.55 inches (although not quite so light at 3.31 pounds). And just like with its less flexible sibling, the ZenBook Flip 14 is strong enough for esports and lower graphical detail in 1080p.
And for a reasonable $1,300 given the 16GB of RAM and 512GB PCIe SSD, you’re also getting a fast quad-core eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8550U GPU that’s more than capable of keeping you efficiently productive. In addition, battery life is competitive and should let you ink away for a solid working day.
Overall, while we weren’t huge fans of the keyboard or pen input, we couldn’t overlook the excellent productivity and gaming performance that’s a cut above the usual convertible 2-in-1 with the same size display or smaller. For that reason, we recommend the ZenBook Flip 14 for inkers and casual gamers, and be sure to read our entire review.
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